Friday, August 8, 2008

WHITHER MALAYSIA


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at www.chedet.com on August 8, 2008 11:00 AM

1. I am very touched by the response to my article "The Country We Love" (July 27, 2008). We may have our differences, we may be of different races but it seems that we all love this country.

2. I have been abroad hundreds of times but I never fail to look forward to returning home. And as I step off the plane I would feel that sense of belonging that almost move me to tears. I am quite sure that every Malaysian feels this way upon returning to this, our very own homeland.

3. As Malaysia we are not an old country for we came into being only slightly more than 50 years ago. But it had been a very eventful half a century.

4. No one gave us much of a chance when in 1957 we lowered the Union Jack and flew the Jalur Gemilang. We were of many races, cultures and religions, divided again by our economic functions, by extreme disparities in material wealth.

5. But our wise founding fathers, our Tunku Abdul Rahman, our Tan Cheng Lock and our Tun Sambanthan worked out a unique form of racial cooperation that staved off any violent confrontation between the races.

6. That cooperation, embodied in the coalition of racial parties and the Alliance/National Front Governments enabled the country to remain peaceful, bar one or two hiccups for 50 years.

7. Those were glorious years. The country grew and prospered. It became the model of the development of a developing country, a model of racial cooperation. It became known throughout the world where once no one could evenpronounce its name. It was the envy of other developing countries.

8. Malaysians abroad felt proud because the moment they identified themselves as Malaysians, immediately people talked of F1 in Sepang and the twin towers.

9. There seemed to be nothing to stop us from achieving our goal of becoming a developed country by 2020.

10. Now all these dreams seem to have faded away. We are involved in political wrangling of all kinds, our leaders seem to be uncertain about what to do, our foreign policy is in disarray etc etc.

11. We have lost our direction. And we get no guidance.

12. We can withdraw into ourselves and merely wish our problems would go away or would solve themselves.

13. But that is wishful thinking. They will not solve themselves, they will not go away. If at all they will become worse, become much more difficult to resolve, as our people become more deeply divided.

14. The organisations created by our founding leaders which we were once confident could handle every problem have now deteriorated. Everything is about what is in it for me. Even the ordinary members of once respected political parties want something for themselves. Jobs, posts, titles, contracts and filthy lucre are the only things which matter.

15. Sacrifice? What sacrifice?

16. Who cares to sacrifice whatever. For most of the people we put our trust in to steer this beloved country to greater heights, the only sacrifice is to give up the Mercedes Benz for Proton Perdana, and that too very reluctantly.

17. I wasn't the best of leaders when I was in the hot seat.

18. But I did try my best. If my best is not good enough I am sorry.

19. But Dato Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Tan Siew Sin, Tun V.T. Sambanthan cannot be faulted in terms of the sacrifices they made, their contributions to building racial harmony, peace and stability for their country.

20. Could it be that we forgot to teach this generation of leaders about the sacrifices made by our founding fathers. 21. Could it be that we cannot handle wealth as we did poverty?

22. Could it be that our leaders lack honour and the sense to accept responsibility and to retire gracefully?

23. Some simply cannot accept the realities, the role they had played in the destruction of a near perfect system which had done so much for our country.

24. Yes we should "Cry the Beloved Country" as Alan Payton said of his South Africa of the Apartheid past.

25. But crying would take us nowhere.

26. It is time the silent majority stop being silent.

27. It is time to speak up and be counted.

28. If we love our country we must not allow crooks and charlatans to rape and steal it from us.

29. It is ours, this country of many races and religions.

30. We must stand together, we the concerned Malaysians, and defend our heritage.